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November 01, 1991 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OY VAY!

ALL
UNDER
ONE ROOF

I Could Have Bought Wholesale!

Israel Embassy
Opens In Moscow

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Soviet
Jews awaiting visas were
among the some 100 guests
and staff present last week
when the Israeli flag was
once more hoisted above the
building which had been and
is now once again Israel's
Embassy in Moscow.
With the building restored
to its former prestige,
Israel's national anthem,
"Hatikvah," was sung and
the champagne flowed.
Leading the festivities was
Arye Levin, who held am-
bassador's rank but could
function only on the con-
sular level until Moscow
resumed full diplomatic re-
lations with Israel on Oct.
18.
"It's a great day" in
Soviet-Israeli relations, said
Mr. Levin, who predicted
"more great days are ahead
of us."
Mr. Levin placed a new
bronze plaque, reading
"Embassy of Israel" in Heb-
rew and Cyrillic letters, at
the building's entrance. The
plaque was being "returned
to its proper place," he said.
Mr. Levin told reporters
later that he thought the
Soviet Union could play a
constructive role at the Mid-
dle East peace conference
opening Wednesday in
Madrid under joint
U.S.-Soviet auspices.
He suggested that the
Soviets might use their in-
fluence to moderate the posi-
tions of Syria and other Arab
countries.
The embassy was closed in
June 1967, after the Soviet
Union severed all ties with
Israel on the final day of the
Six-Day War. It remained
vacant for more than 20
years while Israeli interests
in the Soviet Union were
represented by the Dutch
Embassy.
In 1988, Israel and the
Soviet Union exchanged
"interest sections" after low-
level Soviet diplomats had
opened an office in Tel Aviv,
ostensibly to see to Soviet
properties in Jerusalem.
Months later, a small
Israeli mission set up shop at
the old embassy building in
Moscow. But it was not
elevated to embassy status
until Soviet Foreign Min-
ister Boris Pankin came to
Jerusalem and signed the
agreement re-establishing
normal relations between
his country and the Jewish
state.
It was Israel's first diplo-
matic payoff for agreeing to
attend the peace conference.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

71

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